Forwarder group FIATA backs IATA’s cargo push
20 / 03 / 2020
By Damian Brett
Freight forwarder association FIATA has backed IATA’s efforts to ensure that airfreight is not affected by measures put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Earlier this week, IATA urged governments to take the following actions:
- Exclude air cargo operations from any COVID-19-related travel restrictions, to ensure life-saving medical products can be transported without disruption;
- Ensure that standardized measures are in place so that air cargo can continue to move around the world with minimal disruptions;
- Exempt air cargo crew members, who do not interact with the public, from 14-day quarantine requirements;
- Support temporary traffic rights for cargo operations where restrictions may apply;
- Remove economic impediments, such as overfly charges, parking fees, and slot restrictions to support air cargo operations during these unprecedented times.
In response, the forwarder group said: “Government’s do not appear to clearly understand that short term decisions will exacerbate the immediate and short-term ability of economies to meet the challenge of COVID-19 containment and then the economic rebuild.
“As to those two critical needs, air cargo is vital in delivering emergency relief, medical technical infrastructure componentry and keeping global supply chains functioning with ‘just in time’ intervention.
“Such delivery has been traditionally through dedicated cargo aircraft and high utilisation of capacity in passenger aircraft (bellyhold).
“With passenger aircraft now denied cross border access such belly hold capacity has significantly declined, rates have become exorbitant and suppliers, through their international freight forwarder partners, now seeking to move goods through other compromised logistic chains.
“As international airfreight is instrumental in transporting perishable, short shelf life goods and medical supplies it is time for all governments to address decisions that are counterproductive to the fight of COVID-19.”